PARIS (AFP) – A stomach problem forced Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes to abandon plans to give a lecture in Geneva on Thursday, Mexico’s embassy here said, saying he was otherwise “in perfect health”.
Earlier, a UN official in Geneva said he had been taken to hospital and was unable to attend a conference hosted by the United Nations in the Swiss city.
“Regrettably, Carlos Fuentes is unable to join us because he has been hospitalised,” said Sergei Ordzhonikidze, the head of the United Nations office in Geneva. “We wish him a prompt recovery.”
But the Mexican embassy in Paris said the celebrated 82-year-old — who in 1987 won the Cervantes Prize, Spanish literature’s most prestigious award — had not travelled to Geneva and that his illness was nothing more serious than a “simple stomach problem”.
“He was to have travelled to Geneva today (Thursday) to speak at a conference at the United Nations, but because of a small stomach problem he couldn’t travel,” Eduardo del Rio, spokesman for Mexico’s embassy in Paris, told AFP. “He is in a perfect state of health,” he added.
Fuentes was in Paris to attend events marking Mexico’s bicentenary.
He had been expected to speak at a conference on intercultural dialogue and migration.
In a literary career spanning more than half a century, Fuentes has written dozens of novels and books of literary criticism, among them “The Death of Artenio Cruz” and “A Change of Skin”.